The Supreme Court has refused to hear a case against a Hawaiian Bed and Breakfast where the owner refused service to a lesbian couple back in 2007.
Because the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled against Aloha Bed & Breakfast last year, owned by a Catholic woman, that ruling now stands and the owner will now be levied a fine and forced to server gay couples in her B&B.
REUTERS – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to take up a new dispute involving gay and religious rights, leaving in place a lower court ruling against a Hawaii bed and breakfast owner who turned away a lesbian couple, citing Christian beliefs.
The justices refused to hear an appeal by Phyllis Young, who runs the three-room Aloha Bed & Breakfast in Honolulu, of the ruling that she violated a state anti-discrimination law by refusing to rent a room to Diane Cervilli and Taeko Bufford in 2007.
A state court ruled that Young ran afoul of Hawaii’s public accommodation law, which among other things bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Litigation will now continue to determine what penalty Young might face.
Young said her decision to turn away the same-sex couple was protected by her right to free exercise of religion under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
In the Hawaii case, Cervilli and Bufford sued in 2011 and were joined in the litigation by the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission, a state agency. They are no longer a couple.
Young is Catholic and “the only romantic partners allowed to share a bedroom are a married man and woman,” her lawyers said in court papers. Young argued among other things that she could not be sanctioned because private homes that rent fewer than four rooms are exempt from Hawaii’s housing laws. Young appealed to the Supreme Court after the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals ruled against her in 2018.
Reuters points out that because of the narrow decision by the Supreme Court in the Colorado case against Masterpiece Cakeshop, that ruling didn’t cover this case.
They do, however, have a similar appeal regarding an Oregon bakery, but that has yet to be decided.
Perhaps that ruling will be large enough in scope to protect this Christian Bed and Breakfast?